By Jennifer Popper
PLAINFIELD, NJ — Students 17-years-old and up at Plainfield High School were given a crash course on how to maneuver through the process to cast their vote in this year’s primary and general elections. The two-part event taught those eligible to vote how to register to do so, and provided sample ballots that allowed them to choose their candidates in actual voting booths.
“I’m a firm believer in civic responsibility,” Supervisor of Social Studies Dr. Tristian Cox said. “We want the kids to be exposed to what it’s like to vote, why you should vote,” and, he said, to be educated on the ways to access voting. “A lot of the kids, the younger population, they don’t understand that they can vote, and they have a lot of power.”
Dr. Cox said he told students, “The people in power, you want people who look like you, so start thinking about that.”
“One of the things that research says is that kids are nervous about voting for the first time,” Dr. Patricia Supplee of Energizing Young Voters said, and she remarked the event is one of the ways to alleviate student fears.
Dr. Supplee stated some individuals thought the voting process was complicated, but were relieved to hear how simple it really is, and noted that some students who are citizens but are from other countries did not realize they are allowed to vote when they turn 18-years-old.
- May 17: Voter registration deadline to vote in the Primary Election
- June 7: Primary Election
- Oct. 18: Voter registration deadline to vote in the General Election
- Nov. 7: General Election
Register online to vote at https://ucnj.org/boe/voter-registration-information. Learn more about important election dates at https://ucnj.org/boe.